Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors (Paperback) book cover

Art of the Cut

Conversations with Film and TV Editors

By Steve Hullfish

© 2017 – Focal Press

282 pages | 50 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

Art of the Cut provides an unprecedented look at the art and technique of contemporary film and television editing. It is a fascinating "virtual roundtable discussion" with more than 50 of the top editors from around the globe. Included in the discussion are the winners of more than a dozen Oscars for Best Editing and the nominees of more than forty, plus numerous Emmy winners and nominees. Together they have over a thousand years of editing experience and have edited more than a thousand movies and TV shows.

Hullfish carefully curated over a hundred hours of interviews, organizing them into topics critical to editors everywhere, generating an extended conversation among colleagues. The discussions provide a broad spectrum of opinions that illustrate both similarities and differences in techniques and artistic approaches. Topics include rhythm, pacing, structure, storytelling and collaboration.

Interviewees include Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road), Tom Cross (Whiplash, La La Land), Pietro Scalia (The Martian, JFK), Stephen Mirrione (The Revenant), Ann Coates (Lawrence of Arabia, Murder on the Orient Express), Joe Walker (12 Years a Slave, Sicario), Kelley Dixon (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead), and many more.

Art of the Cut also includes in-line definitions of editing terminology, with a full glossary and five supplemental web chapters hosted online at www.routledge.com/cw/Hullfish. This book is a treasure trove of valuable tradecraft for aspiring editors and a prized resource for high-level working professionals. The book’s accessible language and great behind-the-scenes insight makes it a fascinating glimpse into the art of filmmaking for all fans of cinema.

Reviews

"In addition to having ready access to the experiences of so many editors in one volume, the book also makes great use of it’s formatting, structure and layout to enhance the learning experience and make sure you take away some practical wisdom." - Jonny Elwyn, Film Editor

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Editor Bios

1. PROJECT ORGANIZATION

Introduction

Cards on a wall

Project Organization

Scene Bin Organization

Scene Bin Organization with JPEG Markers

Selects or KEM Rolls

Sequence Organization

Organizing a Timeline Layout

ScriptSync

Conclusion

2. APPROACH TO A SCENE

Introduction

Screening Dailies (Rushes)

Watching Dailies Backwards

Finding a Starting Place

Fast and Rough to Start

Using Select Reels

Conclusion

3. PACING AND RHYTHM

Introduction

Pacing is Musical

What Determines Pacing?

Letting it Breathe

Pacing Due to Screen Size

Conclusion

4. STRUCTURE

Introduction

Length of First Assembly

Working the First Assembly

Hitting Beats

Structure

Intercutting

Killing Your Babies and Eliminating Shoe Leather

Screening

First Assembly in TV

Conclusion

5. STORYTELLING

Introduction

Editing is Foundational to Storytelling

Speaking into the Script

Character

Perspective

Structure

A Student of Story

Conclusion

6. PERFORMANCE

Introduction

Editing as Stewardship

Finding the Performance

Performance that Tells the Story

Shaping Performance

Editing Bracketed Performances

Using Audio from Different Takes than Picture

Split Screen: The Invisible Weapon

Performance Needs Context

Conclusion

7. SOUND DESIGN

Introduction

Sound to Sell Visual Edits

Selling the Environment

Collaboration with Sound Team and Assistants

ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement)

Conclusion

8. MUSIC

Introduction

The Purpose of Temp Music

Choosing Temp Music

Cutting Without Temp

Songs and Diegetic or "Source" Music

Temping a Franchise Film

Using Score

Conclusion

9. COLLABORATION

Introduction

Landing the Gig

Styles of Collaboration

Notes

Social Skills

Don’t Edit the Way you think the Director Wants

TV’s Collaborative Environment

Conclusion

10. DOCUMENTARY

Introduction

Schedule

Approaching the Material

ScriptSync

Shot Selection

Pacing and Rhythm

Structure

Sound Design

Music

Collaboration

Notes and Revisions

Miscellaneous Documentary Wisdom

Conclusion

11. MISCELLANEOUS WISDOM

Introduction

How Did You Break Into the Business?

Emotion

Geography

Learn From Your Mistakes

How Do You Judge the Editing of Others?

About the Author

Steve Hullfish is a feature film and TV editor with credits including, "Courageous," "War Room," "Champion" and the theatrically-released feature documentary, "Clinton Inc." Hullfish is the author of five other books, including The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction and Avid Uncut. Hullfish also trains editors and colorists around the world.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART057000
ART / Film & Video
PER004010
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production